White Sox-Cubs drama: Alejandro De Aza thinks Manny Corpas hit him on purpose

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White Sox outfielder Alejandro De Aza and Cubs reliever Manny Corpas are off-field friends, but that didn’t stop them from creating some drama in the Chicago interleague series yesterday.

With the White Sox up 7-0 in the eighth inning Corpas came into the game and plunked De Aza on the leg with his first pitch, presumably because Alex Rios attempted a stolen base up 6-0 in the previous inning. Or something.

Whatever the case, De Aza said afterward that he thinks it was intentional:

I don’t know, but the way he threw that ball, I think it was on purpose. I did face him before. Actually, me and that pitcher, we’re cool, we’re friends. I’ve known him for a long time. I think they just told him to hit the first guy.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum predictably downplayed the topic when asked, saying: “I don’t know. He hit him. It happens sometimes.”

Yes, “sometimes” like when a manager tells a pitcher to hit a batter in a blowout.

Yadier Molina responds to Willson Contreras on Instagram

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On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”

Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.

Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.

Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.